How B2B Businesses Can Combat the Holiday Slump
In the run up to Christmas and between Christmas and New Year, many B2B businesses will find their sales seriously drop. People aren’t in the mindset to buy business products or services; they’re too busy finding the right consumer items for a great Christmas.
However, this slump can be a good time for B2B businesses to take stock and prepare their business (and customers) for the New Year.
Front Of Mind and Timely Campaigns
Make sure your business stays at the front of your clients’ minds by scheduling regular reminders about your products and services. Think about the ‘pain points’ – the points in time or processes when they really need you – and schedule marketing communications to make sure you take advantage of this. You could share email reminders, get in touch on social media or send them something in the post, depending on what works for your business.
Consider what your clients will be thinking about in the New Year to help you prepare the right marketing campaigns to be sent out at the right time. January is associated with new starts, spring cleans, resolutions and very little money – so how could your business provide something which helps your client solve some of these problems? For example, a car parts supplier could offer a discount on their supplies before the New Year, securing money in the quieter period, and ensuring you have some work come January when it’s less busy.
Maintain a Close Relationship
Although contacting your clients via email or other methods is good, seeing them face-to-face is an even better reminder. While the run up to Christmas will be very busy, between Christmas and New Year many people (and businesses) are a lot quieter. Schedule in meetings with some of your key clients or give them a call for a chat. They’ll appreciate the personal touch and you’ll be able to give them a gentle reminder about what’s coming up in your business offer.
Review and Refresh Your Marketing and Online Presence
Now that you have a little bit of time on your hands, have a think about how up-to-date your company communications are online. When was the last time you updated your blog? Is your website advertising any discontinued products or services? Take the time to review your business across the web and take swift action to amend any incorrect details. Remember to check social media too and any business directories where you may have a listing.
Once you’ve given this a bit of a spring clean, spend some time reviewing your marketing from the last twelve months to understand what’s been working and what definitely hasn’t.
- What have been the most and least successful campaigns?
- Which marketing channels have proved to be a good return on investment?
- Which marketing channels didn’t provide any return on investment?
- Has your client list grown through your marketing?
Once you’ve answered these questions, look at why this might be the case. Consider whether you’ve chosen the right print and digital channels for your audiences and whether the design, wording and offers you used in your marketing were right. A review at this stage of the year will help you make next year’s marketing much more effective.
In that post-Christmas slump, it’s a good time to plan ahead for seasonal and topical campaigns including summer sales or holiday promotions. Try and plot out a marketing calendar which describes the different events and what you’ll be doing at that time – it’ll save you a lot of stress later on!
Used constructively, this quieter period for B2B companies can actually be very useful. You’ve got opportunities to talk to your customers, plan ahead and review your marketing, plus nudge your clients with some gentle reminders so you start the New Year one step ahead.
If you would like more tips, download our guide on marketing planning.
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